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A Novel Method to Reduce Industrial Dust Pollution of Respirable Air

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DUSTCOMB (A Novel Method to Reduce Industrial Dust Pollution of Respirable Air)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2017-08-31

A spin-off from SSAB (Swedish Steel, formerly Rautaruukki) and University of Oulu (Finland) research, Filtra Group Oy, has developed a revolutionary industrial dust extraction technology that gives 80% cost reduction compared to current state-of-the-art solutions.

Our DustComb system addresses directly the urgent need for various industries (e.g. power plants, metals processing plants, etc.) to meet new air quality regulations that demand better extraction of particulate matter from the industrial emissions.

Today, various emission regulations affect around 200,000 industrial units globally that need to comply with new emission norms by installing advanced filtration units in the coming years or close their operations.

DustComb has been already validated in operational tests in SSAB steel plant and the results confirmed that our innovative fluid dynamics phenomena based technology meets all required emission standards. In addition, DustComb´s excellent cost-efficiency ratio, retrofitting compatibility, wide operating temperature tolerance, low maintenance costs, and other key benefits will ensure us fast market uptake globally.

We have already reached to preliminary agreements with several potential clients in Europe and Asia via our industrial partners SSAB and Primetals Technology (formerly Siemens VAI).

In SMEI phase-1 project, we have analysed the feasibility of our business, manufacturing and commercialisation plan and have prepared a detailed roadmap for 2017-2020. We have also carried out several technical analysis to specify our further development objectives and phase-2 project work plan.
Based on the phase-1 study results, Filtra has validated both the technical and economic feasibility of the proposed innovation project. All the planned tasks were performed in right time and gave expected results. The study confirmed the positive environmental and industrial performance impact of Dustcomb.

The phase 1 tasks also confirmed the technology’s high reliability and market potential, while pointing out the key areas for further development. Additional prototype trials, fine-tuning technical performance for optimised flow, and computational fluid dynamics simulations to maximise performance gave valuable input for product development.

Dustcomb has a significantly lower cost compared to alternatives and has proved its compatibility with existing industrial setups. Thus, Filtra´s innovation succeeds in reaching the strict required emission control norms event in toughest conditions, while reducing operational costs remarkably.

In overall, there are no significant changes in project objectives as the feasibility study confirmed the potential of the initial product development and commercialization plan. Based on new key findings, Filtra has adjusted the product´s features and commercialisation strategy that are in accordance with industry needs and overall business environment opportunities.

The feasibility study also pointed out the main categories, where external support is needed for further developing the business and the Dustcomb solution. In the next project phase, Filtra plans to include several subcontractors for product development and successful commercialisation at targeted EU and Asian markets. The business plan and commercialisation strategy developed within the phase-1 project help to engage relevant stakeholders, attract external investors, form strong phase-2 proposal, and ensure successful implementation of the innovation project.
The phase-1 study has improved our technological readiness.

The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis led to the better design of the special orifices that are the core of Dustcomb technology. We improved the dust extraction rate significantly by simulations. Further CFD simulations are still ahead in phase-2 to ensure this high rate in all conditions and applications.

Secondly, we have confirmed the feasibility of using industrial 3D printing as a possible manufacturing method. The manufacturing study gave very good results and led to several design solutions that will ensure fast scale-up and cost-efficient manufacturing of Dustcomb units.

All these progress points have led us closer to market-ready Dustcomb technology. By the end of the SME2 project, we aim to achieve and validate at the market all the benefits of our innovative technology. As the main promise, our technology will be capable of purifying very hot gases (1000 C) from dust extensive industrial operations (e.g. steelmaking, power plants, etc.). Dustcomb can ensure that the particulate matter concentration in emissions stays below 20mg/m3 as demanded by new EU norms. This rate is achieved by 80% lower costs than currently. Also, Dustcomb has much longer and cheaper maintenance cycles than current Best Available Technologies.

Our smart technological concepts are adjusted for outsourced manufacturing and service approach. This enables fast and international scale-up and increases the benefits of our novel emission control technology both in EU and elsewhere.
SSAB Raahe steel plant
Prototype unit steelworks
CFD simulation of Dustcomb technology principles
3D printed detail